Last spring, I participated in a shadow day and learned first-hand what a typical day is like in the human resource department. I shadowed Tom Dixon, the assistant vice president of HR at Buffalo General Hospital, a member of Kaleida Health Care in downtown Buffalo. My day began at 8:30 am. Tom filled me in on the colorful history of Buffalo's many hospitals; especially those affiliated with Kaleida. I listened via speakerphone while Tom talked to a union official and worked out the exact wording of a document for an upcoming negotiation session. I watched as Tom handled an employee disciplinary situation. Due to a merger and a change in payroll processing systems, there had been a number of recent payroll problems at the time of my visit. I had an incredible opportunity to sit in on several sessions where Tom counseled employees on payroll discrepancies. Faced with a few very unhappy employees, he handled these potentially explosive situations with ease. Watching this was very educational and I felt it was the highlight of the day. My shadow day was a wonderful chance to network and to observe a real HR department in action.
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